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[mas-ti-keyt] /ˈmæs tɪˌkeɪt/
verb (used with object), verb (used without object), masticated, masticating.
to chew.
to reduce to a pulp by crushing or kneading, as rubber.
Origin of masticate
1640-50; < Late Latin masticātus, past participle of masticāre to chew. See mastic, -ate1
Related forms
[mas-ti-kuh-buh l] /ˈmæs tɪ kə bəl/ (Show IPA),
mastication, noun
masticator, noun
half-masticated, adjective
remasticate, verb, remasticated, remasticating.
remastication, noun
unmasticated, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for mastication
  • mastication effort is less important than the size of the material being masticated.
  • Mechanical mastication of shrubs and small trees has become a popular method of fuels management.
British Dictionary definitions for mastication


to chew (food)
to reduce (materials such as rubber) to a pulp by crushing, grinding, or kneading
Derived Forms
masticable, adjective
mastication, noun
masticator, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Late Latin masticāre, from Greek mastikhan to grind the teeth
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for mastication

early 15c., from Old French masticacion and directly from Latin masticationem (nominative masticatio), noun of action from masticare "to chew" (source of Old French maschier, French mâcher), probably from a Greek source related to mastikhan "to gnash the teeth," from PIE *mendh- "to chew" (see mandible).



1640s, back-formation from mastication, or else from Late Latin masticatus, past participle of masticare "to chew." Related: Masticated; masticating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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mastication in Medicine

masticate mas·ti·cate (mās'tĭ-kāt')
v. mas·ti·cat·ed, mas·ti·cat·ing, mas·ti·cates
To chew food.

mas'ti·ca'tion n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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